Posts Tagged ‘women’s rights’

Stop all this rampant casual pill-popping wanton humping, for God's sake...

In yesterday’s Irish Independent rambo-catholic David Quinn sought to portray himself as a martyr for free speech. Whilst he demonised women for seeking the morning after pill in Boots (preferring restraint or chastity!) Quinn also whined to high heaven about being the victim of repressive feminazis on Twitter. Poor Dave! Apparently some had the cheek to define his views on women’s control over their own bodies as ‘medieval’. He also claimed he’d been insulted and called a cunt. He scrambled about in the dark for 40 dazed seconds wondering ‘how we ever got to a point where there’s even a demand for a product like this’. The word demand here of course meaning a desire for sex outside of a committed relationship, such as a deluxe married one. There are no offers of stats accompanying this ancillary demand. Rather, he seems to have taken the product name: ‘Morning After Pill’ to heart, like Head & Shoulders shampoo could mean decapitation to a psycho. Availability of such a product will simply encourage the easily swayed fairer sex to indulge in quick-fix hot rampant park-n-ride humping at a moment’s notice.

The type of woman Dave sees wanting this pill: ‘Young, single women who were out on the tear over the weekend.’ Why don’t you just call them ‘slags’ and be done with it, someone snapped back on Twitter. Women scrambling for this €45 ‘abortifacient’ offering − in David’s comely eyes a kind of preemptive breakfast muffin termination − doesn’t seem to include 30 or 40-something women like me dealing with a burst condom scenario. Sorry Dave, but I do tend to like it a bit frantic and it’s happened twice, or a married woman worried her ordinary pill may not work after a bout of sickness/diarrhoea. And a myriad of other situations where emergency contraception is needed, including in cases of sexual assault. Imagine in the dark old days if such a service was available to women, especially young women who fell pregnant through incest, rape and abuse. And don’t say those scenarios were rare! If there was a morning after pill in 1983, for instance, maybe the young woman who died giving birth in that dreadful desolate place at Granard might never have been put in such a lethal position.

Instead, P for Pill in the Quinn context seems to spell PROMISCUITY to a congregation of tunnel visioners. He refers to pro-contraception folk as ‘moralising anti-moralisers’. It’s an inversion of the truth to portray those on the liberal side of the sexuality debate as the newfound ‘old right’. Such a dishonest move turns all logic and meaning on its head. ‘The problem with your thesis is that you want to legislate for an aspirational society that doesn’t, and may never, exist,’ another twitterer responded. Nor does he mention anywhere in his quickie-porridge-oats analysis, health concerns or issues surrounding the actual taking of the morning after pill. Even that would be a type of progress or perceptibility. He prefers to finger-wag at the female sexual gambol, citing that ‘demand can only be high where there is a high level of self-defeating, self-destructive behaviour’.

I seem to recall similar fears about the potential for mass-hysteria triggered divorces back in 1997 too. And God forbid if we should ever have abortion available in Ireland, we’ll be dashing out to get preggers just for the Nilfisk novelty of it all. While I’m all for the I Believe In Talking Snakes lobby having their divine say, it’s worth remembering that concrete church & state roadblocks obstructing liberalism began to crumble back in the late-1980s, when contraception became more freely available here in all its ambrosial forms. So the marauding tart tanked up on cheap booze and gagging for it without any prior contraception sorted, is tired nugatory nonsense. Coincidentally this change in our society arrived around the same time news broke in the international press of rampantly repressed Irish clergy brutally raping children on an industrial scale. Here’s hoping Boots launch a 2011 Here Cum The Girls campaign, with two for the price of one thrown in for good measure. In the meantime you can read Dave’s latest sermon here − I’m off out to buy some lube and jump on the first cock I see.

June Caldwell is a writer, who after 13 years of journalism, is finally writing a novel. She has a MA in Creative Writing and was winner of ‘Best Blog Post’ award at the 2011 Irish Blog Awards. You can read this post on her own blog here:

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Benedicta Attoh

Benedicta Attoh came to Ireland in 2000 when Nigeria’s democracy was still in its infancy. It was a year that saw bitter religious bloodletting in Kaduna in February, riots between Muslims and Christians across the North throughout the summer and by autumn: the outlawing of all tribal malitia groups by an increasingly unstable government. She arrived in Ireland with her family, a Degree in Education and some dreams about making a difference. Ten years on she is a winner of the Vodafone World of Differenceaward − enabling her to work with Plan Ireland − focussing on issues affecting children and girls in the developing world. The World of Difference programme funds outstanding individuals to work with a chosen charity for a year, providing a salary (up to €40,000) plus expenses. Benedicta kindly agreed to answer some questions:

Inequality in Ireland, where do you see it most and how can it be highlighted?
There’s inequality in every society, the main reason being a lack of understanding and fear. Difference is another major reason for inequality; we see this most clearly with discrimination against black people, travellers, gays and lesbians, people living with disabilities, young people, women and elderly citizens.
What does the west have to offer?
The west has a lot to offer in terms of opportunities. This is largely due to the crises of leadership in the global south where many migrants come from. However, being a stranger is a difficult enough experience, where people have to leave loved ones behind, leave familiar territory and venture into the unknown to look for better opportunities. Some ethnic Irish people (not all, I hate to generalise!) believe immigrants get it “easy” in Ireland. How is that possible when in reality they suffer from racism, lack of access to education and employment? In this time of economic crisis, they are also accused of taking Irish jobs, etc. People in the asylum process live on €19 per week for adults and €9 for per child. In some cases, people stay stuck in the asylum process for up to eight years. You have to be in a desperate situation in the first place to put yourself through an experience like that.
The whole issue of misogyny and the power of Islam in Nigeria is salient, what about the treatment of women, particularly Christian women as minorities in the north? Does female circumcision still exist there?
Nigeria is a very diverse country and religion is one of the pillars of diversity. Unfortunately, this has also been a source of conflict in some parts of Nigeria, particularly in the North. It is well-known that an individual’s act or mistake can easily trigger a religious crisis, which in turn can lead to killing and maiming of minorities, particularly women and children. This is regrettable and hard to take in as it continues to have a negative impact on Nigerians politically, socially, economically…and at local, national and international levels. Female circumcision still occurs in some cultures although the Government and civil society organisations are working extremely hard to eradicate the practice. 
Witchcraft and allegations levelled at women and children are very hard to grasp. How can these issues be dealt with?
Casting “witches” and “wizards” from frightened innocents is absurd and should be punishable. A lot of these children can’t even spell or understand the phenomenon. In my view these practices are about publicity and making some quick money. Perpetrators must be dealt with − they should face the law.
There is a perception of Nigerians in Ireland and elsewhere…that they could be part of a big con-artist programme, while in fact a lot of Nigerians are highly educated and love the west…what can be done to rid this type of stereotyping?
This is so sad, one size does not fit all. People must be treated with respect and dignity. Irish people must reflect on their own experience of immigration: on the name calling and isolation, particularly in Britain. The ‘oppressed’ does not have to become the ‘oppressor’.
Ireland has a poor record on racism in recent times, yet Irish people have lived in every corner of the planet as emigrants themselves. What can we do to dilute this type of ignorance?
Awareness raising, education and enforcement. Racism should not be tolerated at all as it destroys individuals, their families and communities. It is crucial to continue to raise awareness in schools and local communities about the dangers of racism but legislation must also be introduced (and used) to punish perpetrators of racism.
What will your work with Plan Ireland entail?
My role will involve visiting schools, women’s groups, female politicians and local communities to speak and raise awareness about the issues affecting girls in developing countries and what people can do to help in ireland. At the end of the 12-month period, I hope to have a committee of influential women who will continue to drive the “Because I am A Girl ” agenda. I will also help implement a development education strategy for Plan Ireland.
Magic wand, ‘one’ thing (big or small): what and why?
Become a baby all over again. Why? They have no cares in the world!
June Caldwell

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